The Beatgirls is managed exclusively by Total Entertainment, a management company owned by Andrea Sanders and Billy Watkins. Total Entertainment is the major reason that the band was recognised for its business acumen when it was nominated in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for 2006. Because Sanders and Watkins are also co-creators of Beatgirls, the management goals and the quality of performance are intrinsically aligned. "I think you get a different result when the management and agent are also the performers," says Sanders. "We have to stand by our work." Sanders and Watkins handle different aspects of management: Sanders concentrates on the New Zealand market and repertoire; Watkins handles international clients and production. Between them they have decades of experience in the industry and their management company is capable of handling bookings and inquiries from around the world.
A well-known performer in the music and dance business, Andrea Sanders brings a professional's eye and experience to the management side of The Beatgirls. The shows are typically two hours in length and they can be complex, swinging from the Andrews Sisters to disco in the space of one show. Sanders is the one who makes sure it happens: "There can be three costume changes in a show and that entails wigs as well; there are hundreds of hours of songs and dance we can draw on and the performers have to be totally across each number." Sanders used to perform in bands such as 'Crush' in Sydney and 'The Lounge Lizards' in New Zealand but in her current role she is also responsible for meeting with clients and designing a show for the audience. "I deal with repertoire, performances and auditions. Every step and movement in a Beatgirls' show is choreographed so there's a lot of rehearsing." Sanders doesn't mind the multiple roles she undertakes: "audiences just want to see a great show. So that's the goal we set ourselves."
Billy Watkins was the founder and front-man of the legendary New Zealand blues outfit 'Billy and the Blueflames', which made such a name for itself in the early 1990s. Now with The Beatgirls, he still struts his stuff on-stage as a guitarist but he has now turned his experience to becoming a highly successful entertainment manager. It was Watkins' negotiations that lead to The Beatgirls landing a prized spot in the Sydney Olympics organisers' functions, which led to other corporate engagements in North America. Besides juggling the international business commitments of the band he's also responsible for the famously 'tight' production of The Beatgirls' shows. "I'm a perfectionist with the lighting, sound and mixing. It's one of those things that can make or break a show." Watkins works with events organisers to ensure that every member of the audience gets the best experience, and that means making a myriad of lighting and sound decisions well in advance of the performance. It is also Watkins' production and arrangements behind the amazing soundtracks that power a Beatgirls' show. "The behind-the-scenes work is not the glamorous part of what we do, but it's the difference between a good show and an excellent show."
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